News & Updates

News & Updates

Congratulations Martha!

Martha C. Brown has a new mediation!

The United States Arbitration & Mediation Bar Journal has published Martha’s mediation that you can read titled ‘Serving an Aging Population Through Mediation’.

Please read Serving an Aging Population Through Mediation here.


 

Congratulations Martha!

Martha C. Brown is awarded 2020 ICON Award!

Missouri Lawyers Media will honor 26 attorneys from around the state with its 2020 ICON Awards for their notable and sustained success and leadership both within and beyond the field of law.

The ICON Awards, launched in 2018, are presented to distinguished men and women attorneys age 60 and older in recognition of their exemplary careers and longstanding commitment to the Missouri legal community. Whether active or retired, honorees must hold or have held a senior position with significant decision-making authority for their firm or organization.

The list of 2020 honorees includes founding partners, firm leaders and former public officials. Missouri Lawyers Media plans to celebrate their accomplishments at the third annual ICON Awards luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

Please visit Martha’s USA&M bio here.

Please click this link for the 2020 digital edition of the Missouri Lawyers 2020 ICON Awards.


 

Speaking Engagements and Events

In 2020, Martha C. Brown & T. Nikki Mitchell helped write parts of the Missouri Bar Guardianships and Conservatorships, 2nd Edition, 2020. The book is a comprehensive guide to Missouri’s adult guardianship and conservatorship law and incorporates major changes to Chapter 475, enacted via Senate Bill 806, 99th Gen. Assembly, 2nd Reg. Sess. (2018), effective August 28, 2018.This publication outlines the processes and related issues involved in filing guardianships and conservatorships.

To purchase a copy of the publication or for more information, click this link.

In 2020, Martha C. Brown & T. Nikki Mitchell helped write parts of Missouri Elder Law, 2020-2021 ed. (Vol. 41 Missouri Practice Series). Missouri Elder Law provides a useful reference for all Missouri attorneys. For the novice or occasional elder law practitioner, it introduces the issues and provides guidance on resources to counsel their clients more effectively. For the experienced elder law attorneys, this volume is a comprehensive digest of legal authority to refine the practitioner’s advocacy and encourage the advancement of the field of elder law in Missouri.

To purchase the publication or for more information, click this link.

June 29, 2020 – Martha C. Brown & T. Nikki Mitchell presented “The Guardianship and Conservatorship Process in Missouri” at a Missouri Association of Nursing Home Administrators seminar.

For more information on Missouri Association of Nursing Home Administrators, click this link.

June 30, 2020 – Martha C. Brown presented “2020 Elder Law Update” at the UMKC School of Law, Review of Law Continuing Education Seminar.

July 29, 2020 – Martha C. Brown & T. Nikki Mitchell recorded the program “Estate Planning for Guardianships, Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts” for the Missouri Bar Solo & Small Firm Virtual Conference.

To purchase the recordings from this seminar, click this link.

August 4, 2020 – Martha C. Brown & T. Nikki Mitchell presented “31 Flavors of Government Benefits and Their Impact on an Individual Financial Future” for a Missouri Bar Webinar.

To purchase and listen to the recording of the webinar, click this link.

November 10, 2020 – T. Nikki Mitchell presented “Drafting an Irrevocable Trust to Protect Veterans Administration Benefits and Medicaid Benefits” for Clear Law Institute.

To listen to the webinar, click this link.

December 15, 2020 – T. Nikki Mitchell is presenting “Eligibility and Penalties based around the New Veteran’s Benefits Rules” for Clear Law Institute.

To register for this webinar or to listen to it up to 12 months after the webinar, click this link.


 

The Best Lawyers in America
Congratulations to Martha Brown for being selected in “The Best Lawyers in America” for her work in Elder Law for the 7th year in a row!


Special Needs Alliance Blog
The Special Needs Alliance blog has been recognized as one of the best for Moms of kids with special needs. Check it out HERE


The Best Lawyers in America
Martha C. Brown has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Elder Law.

Please check out the new 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America


What is an ABLE account?
The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act will ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation. The ABLE Act will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.

An ABLE account provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts. Legislation through this Act also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.

To read more about ABLE accounts Click Here


What is an Advance Directive?
Have you ever wondered what would happen to you if you were seriously injured or had an illness that would make you unable to communicate with medical professionals providing your care? Or what happens if family members were asked to make life-changing decisions on your behalf?

An Advance Directive is a way of making your voice heard when you can no longer communicate. This Directive allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you or to administer or withhold treatment and procedures based on your previously stated wishes.


Settlement Reached to End the Medicare “Improvement Standard” – Skilled Maintenance Services Are Covered By Medicare
For decades, Medicare beneficiaries were denied the necessary care based on what has come to be known as the “Improvement Standard.” This “Improvement Standard” had become a barrier to Medicare beneficiaries receiving necessary care. This standard especially affected those individuals with long term care needs and chronic debilitating conditions who have needed ongoing rehabilitation services.

Historically, Medicare beneficiaries were informed that Medicare will not cover their physical or occupational therapy services unless they are able to show progress. Many Medicare beneficiaries have been wrongfully denied therapy services because they “plateaued” that is, they failed to show progress. This standard became shorthand for Medicare coverage denials issued on the basis that the person’s condition is chronic, stable and not improving. Medicare beneficiaries were denied therapy services for maintenance only.

In 2011, the Centers for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) filed a class action lawsuit, Jimmo et al v. Sebelius. The lawsuit alleged that the “Improvement Standard” operated as a rule of thumb to prematurely deny Medicare coverage to beneficiaries who are not showing improvement. The CMA argued that the “Improvement Standard” conflicted with the Medicare Act which provided that a person’s restoration potential is not a deciding factor in determining if skilled services are needed. In reality, a person’s restoration potential became the primary factor in deciding if therapy services would continue under Medicare. When challenged, providers would threaten that they would be committing Medicare fraud if they provided services to a person who was not showing progress.

The critical factor is whether the services of a skilled healthcare professional are needed and not whether the Medicare beneficiary is expected to improve. The Settlement Agreement standards apply to Medicare beneficiaries now. This means that Medicare coverage is available to Medicare beneficiaries who need ongoing therapy to maintain their condition or slow the deterioration regardless of their underlying illness, disability or injury. We understand the system and advocate for our clients whose rights are being denied.

For more information about the Settlement Agreement, visit the Centers for Medicare Advocacy at www.medicareadvocacy.org.

Congratulations Martha!
Martha C. Brown, a USA& M mediator, is awarded 2020 ICON Award!
Missouri Lawyers Media will honor 26 attorneys from around the state with its 2020 ICON Awards for their notable and sustained success and leadership both within and beyond the field of law.

The ICON Awards, launched in 2018, are presented to distinguished men and women attorneys age 60 and older in recognition of their exemplary careers and longstanding commitment to the Missouri legal community. Whether active or retired, honorees must hold or have held a senior position with significant decision-making authority for their firm or organization.

The list of 2020 honorees includes founding partners, firm leaders and former public officials. Missouri Lawyers Media plans to celebrate their accomplishments at the third annual ICON Awards luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

Please visit Martha’s USA&M bio here.


The Best Lawyers in America
Congratulations to Martha Brown for being selected in “The Best Lawyers in America” for her work in Elder Law for the 7th year in a row!


Special Needs Alliance Blog
The Special Needs Alliance blog has been recognized as one of the best for Moms of kids with special needs. Check it out HERE


The Best Lawyers in America
Martha C. Brown has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Elder Law.

Please check out the new 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America


What is an ABLE account?
The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act will ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation. The ABLE Act will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.

An ABLE account provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts. Legislation through this Act also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.

To read more about ABLE accounts Click Here


What is an Advance Directive?
Have you ever wondered what would happen to you if you were seriously injured or had an illness that would make you unable to communicate with medical professionals providing your care? Or what happens if family members were asked to make life-changing decisions on your behalf?

An Advance Directive is a way of making your voice heard when you can no longer communicate. This Directive allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you or to administer or withhold treatment and procedures based on your previously stated wishes.


Settlement Reached to End the Medicare “Improvement Standard” – Skilled Maintenance Services Are Covered By Medicare
For decades, Medicare beneficiaries were denied the necessary care based on what has come to be known as the “Improvement Standard.” This “Improvement Standard” had become a barrier to Medicare beneficiaries receiving necessary care. This standard especially affected those individuals with long term care needs and chronic debilitating conditions who have needed ongoing rehabilitation services.

Historically, Medicare beneficiaries were informed that Medicare will not cover their physical or occupational therapy services unless they are able to show progress. Many Medicare beneficiaries have been wrongfully denied therapy services because they “plateaued” that is, they failed to show progress. This standard became shorthand for Medicare coverage denials issued on the basis that the person’s condition is chronic, stable and not improving. Medicare beneficiaries were denied therapy services for maintenance only.

In 2011, the Centers for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) filed a class action lawsuit, Jimmo et al v. Sebelius. The lawsuit alleged that the “Improvement Standard” operated as a rule of thumb to prematurely deny Medicare coverage to beneficiaries who are not showing improvement. The CMA argued that the “Improvement Standard” conflicted with the Medicare Act which provided that a person’s restoration potential is not a deciding factor in determining if skilled services are needed. In reality, a person’s restoration potential became the primary factor in deciding if therapy services would continue under Medicare. When challenged, providers would threaten that they would be committing Medicare fraud if they provided services to a person who was not showing progress.

The critical factor is whether the services of a skilled healthcare professional are needed and not whether the Medicare beneficiary is expected to improve. The Settlement Agreement standards apply to Medicare beneficiaries now. This means that Medicare coverage is available to Medicare beneficiaries who need ongoing therapy to maintain their condition or slow the deterioration regardless of their underlying illness, disability or injury. We understand the system and advocate for our clients whose rights are being denied.

For more information about the Settlement Agreement, visit the Centers for Medicare Advocacy at www.medicareadvocacy.org.